Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Easy Chili Rellenos Caserole and Skillet Fiesta Chicken & Rice

Ok so I know I have been slacking for the past few days but I'm back and more encouraged :) 

I will only be doing two recipes tonight (dinner from tonight and Sunday) full menus will begin appearing on Sunday again.

Sunday's meal was the Skillet Fiesta Chicken & Rice from my Campbells 1-2-3 Dinners, yes this was the night I sliced my finger. =/ 

I love this recipe I've made it multiple times and it is easy and good!!! 

The Recipe:  Skillet Fiesta Chicken & Rice

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about one pound)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 3/4 Cup water
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (1 ounce)

1. In medium skillet over medium high heat, heat oil. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes or until browned. Set Chicken aside. Pour off fat.

2. Add soup, water and chili powder. Heat to a boil

3. Stir in rice. Place chicken on rice mixture. Sprinkle chicken with additional chili powder and cheese. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken and rice are done. Stir rice mixture.

So I do make some changes to this recipe. I dont have chili powder so I use a very small amount of cayenne pepper. (or i did before the baby started eating food). Now we just sprinkle red pepper flakes on top of our plates but there is no spice for the baby. I either cook the chicken in butter or olive oil. I also use the birdseye steam in bag rice. I just throw the frozen rice into the mixture and it comes out perfect every time!! 
Tonight's dinner was the chili rellenos casserole I got this recipe from my step mom way back when Bren and I first got married. Bren and I posted it on my sister in law's recipe blog shortly after we had it for the first time :) its a good one! 

The Recipe: Easy Chili Rellenos Casserole

2 (7 ounce) cans whole green chili peppers, drained.
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded.
8 ounces Longhorn or Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs beaten
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce.

Preheat oven to 350º F (175ºC). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Lay half the chilies evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and cover with remaining chilies. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and flour, and pour over the top of the chilies.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, pour tomato sauce evenly over the top, and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Jack and Cheddar cheese, and serve.

This one is SUPER easy, the only changes I made were- I used diced green chilies because walmart had run out of the whole kind. I bout three cans of those (though I wish I would have bought 4). I honestly think I liked it better with the diced green chilies. I dunno why :). I also changed the all purpose flour for whole wheat. But thats about it :) 

Pictures of dinner tonight below :)  

Thanks again for checking back and sticking with me!! I have a few new recipes I am excited to try out this week! 
Until tomorrow!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Date Night!!!

So we had a last minute date night :) Bren had to go to the aquarium for extra credit so we made a family/date night out of it :) Fish and Food!! We went to McGraths Fish House and had yummy clam chowder and all you can eat shrimp! It was delicious and delectable! Now back to the real world. No menu today (because I still havent decided on one. So lame I know I'm a slacker). This week/ last weekend was kinda a crazy/sad weekend.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Cut my finger pretty good. Bren finised cooking dinner for me. Sweet guy! Typing hurts sooo I will do my Sunday post tomorrow. Soo sorry =(

Saturday, August 6, 2011

When All Else Fails... Make Up A New Recipe


Not gonna lie... I'm pretty bummed right now. I was SUPER excited for my first Sweet Saturday and found an AMAZING recipe that I couldn't wait to try out! I came across this awesome website, Stumble Upon and I LOVE it! I have already printed of a few recipes that I cant wait to try out! This was one of them...

The plan was to make Samoas, you know, the girl scout cookie that everyone loves! I was so excited when I found the recipe! If you dont know about StumbleUpon.com you need to check it out, it basically goes off of your interests and directs you to different websites and blogs.
 The Recipe is from Once Upon A Plate: This is the actual recipe in whole from the blog-

Please NOTE 
I don't want you to be disappointed.

If you are of the 'slice and bake' cookie mind, making these cookies might not be for you.   

This type of cookie does take time and a bit of effort.  Some may call them tedious to make ... I call them WORTH it. 

But that's just me.   :)  

You decide.

Cookies ~ Homemade Samoas

(also known as Caramel de-Lites)
Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 dozen

The cookies involve four steps: 
1. Make the cookie Base
2. Top with Caramel-Coconut mixture
3. Dip bottom of cookies in melted chocolate
4. Drizzle tops with melted chocolate

The Cookie (base):
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
up to 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, next, the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk only as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (you may not need any at all). The dough should come together into a soft, pliable ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough seems sticky.

It's easiest to roll the dough out in 2 or 3 batches (between pieces of wax (or parchment) paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or a little thinner) using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined (or on silicone mat) baking sheet and make a hole in the center. I used the small end of a large round piping tip. Nicole comments that you can use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat until the dough is used up (it's okay to re-roll, this dough is shortbread-like and very forgiving.)

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are very lightly golden brown around the edges.

Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, to allow them to firm up slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-ounces good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
8 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips will do)
(If you prefer milk chocolate, by all means use that.)

My notes: The caramel-coconut mixture is quite sweet, so I used Bittersweet chocolate to balance the sweetness bit.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (F)

Spread coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Watch carefully, especially near the end of toasting time; the coconut toasts very quickly once it begins to become golden.

Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.

Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 teaspoons per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it begins to firm up, to make it soft and spreadable once again.

While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. (I melted mine stovetop using double boiler method.) Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper (I used silicone baking mats instead). Transfer all remaining chocolate into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate. (Melt a bit of additional chocolate, if there is not quite enough for each cookie.)

Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

I printed of the recipe, went to the store to buy all of the ingredients, and got home and started. It started off so easy! The cookies are a breeze to make. The trouble started and ended with the caramel. I burnt it. Sadly I didn't have enough caramel to try again so that part was hosed. 
 Picture of my beautiful (insert sarcasm here) caramel coconut mix below. 


Looks pretty doesnt it! ... OR more like someone took a crap in my mixing bowl.

So here I have 2 dozen naked shortbread style cookies and no topping for them. Then LIGHT BULB I realized hey I still have the chocolate and most of my toasted coconut. So I decided rather then waste money and a TON of time spent I would just dip the cookies in the chocolate and sprinkle the coconut on top of half of them (in case any of my primary kids have a coconut allergy.) I bought two different types of chocolate chips, semi-sweet and dark chocolate. So I dipped them in the semi-sweet, and pipped the dark on top.. Not sure if it made any difference. Honestly I'm not sure if they're any good. They're still cooling right now and I'm just too tired and too bummed to try them out. Hopefully my primary kids like them.

Pictures of my new Fail Cookies... Yeah... thats a good name for them :)

with coconut

without coconut

Will I try it again? Probably, but for now I will probably stick to easier recipes until I get the hang of being in the kitchen.

Soo needless to say dinner tonight didn't happen. My sweet (and starving by that time) husband offered to run to Costa Vida to get some dinner. He brought back my favorite dish Mango Chicken Salad (one day I will get that mango salsa recipe). Such a sweet husband.

Thanks again for checking back! I'll let you know tomorrow how my primary kids liked them. Don't forget tomorrow is Sneak Peak Sunday! (or Sunday Sample... Which sounds better to you?) But honestly guys, I'm feeling pretty darn discouraged right now... I dont like to fail at things... This is why surfing doesn't happen for me. I need some words of encouragement.

Until Tomorrow

Dont Judge Me..

I really want this skirt! And I didnt win the first give away... so now I'm entering another one for a different blog... same skirt.. Here's the new blog,  picture in the post below!

Sweet Saturday will happen later today! I'm excited!!!! ... Still haven't decided what to make... too many choices!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fun Fact Friday!!!

Good morning everyone!! I've got a secret... I LOVE Fridays... Whats that you say? Everyone loves Fridays? Well, this is why I love Fridays, not only is it fun fact day, but its also the beginning of my 3 day weekend every week! So I love Fridays because they are like a first Saturday for me!

So today is my first Fun Fact Friday! And I've gotta tell you it's fun looking up random culinary facts, it was hard choosing just one for today! But here it is! Ladies, this ones for you!!

Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine (PEA), a natural substance that is reputed to stimulate the same reaction in the body as falling in love. 

Short but sweet. No wonder we all love chocolate so much!!

Well as I said last night, I have 2 birthday parties to go to tonight one for a good friend of mine who also happens to be an AMAZING photographer!! Check out her blog here, her facebook here, or her website here! Happy Birthday Stephanie!!! Her birthday party is garden party themed and I am super excited!
The other birthday party is for James, who might as well be my brother. He's been hangin around the family for years (cant seem to get rid of him!! Just kidding :) The only downside, the parties are pretty much at the same time James's is at 6 and Stephanie's is at 7. It will be a crazy night for me! Oh and the fact that I wont be cooking (aw shucks...) But really though, this blog has given me so much incentive to cook every night! Two things I'm normally a slacker at doing, I have been doing every day for nearly a week!! You're impressed right!! WELL there has been food that I have cooked, served every night, cause we've had two left over nights. It's amazing how much money you really do save when cooking! I always thought it was a bunch of bull when you're only cooking for 2, but really!! You do save a ton!

Well before I go I wanted to blog about a blog I have recently discovered. Its a fashion blog, which usually I dont follow so well. There are so many fashion blogs now and some are great! And some I seriously only read because I am so baffled by how bad the person's style is... Ok... Theres only one of those and I assure you its not one of my followers blogs. But seriously the style is so frumpy in some of the blogs. But this one I am new to and I found it through a give a way one of my friends blogged/facebooked about. It was my first give away I have ever entered and now I am sold forever on her blog! I love her style, I love her blog. And the skirt up for give away is SO cute! The give away ends today so click here to enter!
Seriously though! Look how cute this skirt is!

You want it now don't you! I know I do!!! Follow Cori at La Vie Petite!

Thanks for checking back! And sorry that this wasn't so much about food but hey! A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to win right!!! Dont forget tomorrow is Sweet Saturday!!
Until tomorrow!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Whole Wheat Mac n' Cheese!!

Soo today was super fun for me! I decided to make my mother in law's mac and cheese. And the recipe makes a LOT. I thought... Maybe I should cut the recipe in half... Then I thought nah I'd rather entertain so I invited my awesome sister in law and her cute family over for dinner and it was a blast! I was going to take pictures BUT I couldn't find my camera sorry!

The recipe:

Homemade Mac & Cheese: 

3 cups elbow mac
6 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
3 cups shredded cheese
1 tsp salt

Boil mac in salted water until tender
While mac is cooking make the sauce.
Mix all ingredients except cheese. When the sauce gets
thick, mix in two of the three cups of cheese (save the
last for the top). Bake @ 375ºF for 25-30 Min.

So this recipe was fun and I will definitely do this one again! I bought whole wheat macaroni on purpose on Monday (because its healthier and tastes the same) but when I started cooking I realized the only type of flour I had was whole wheat flour. I had already made plans for my sister in law and her family to come over and there was NO way I was going to the store again. So I just thought what the heck it's healthier so I'll just substitute it and hope it turns out. And oh boy did it turn out! It was so good and Bren told me he likes it a whole lot better then the white flour mac and cheese! SCORE! It looks a little darker than the normal recipe does but it tastes so good! I'm not sure what type of cheese my mother in law uses but I went with Tillamook medium cheddar. But really the only changes I made to this recipe were the substitutions for whole wheat.
I can't say I did the whole recipe, my sister in law Kiera brought over squash and zucchini for the side and it was delicious! She sliced it and fried it in a pan on the stove with butter and that's it. It was so good!

So as I said earlier in the post, I couldn't find my camera so I didnt get a chance to take a picture of the meal BUT I did find it while I was doing the dishes so I got a picture of the left overs! YAY. No pictures of the side (because we ate all of it) but I do have one of the main dish!

Picture below!

And I just have to post one picture of my little princess. Or should I say trouble?

nothin' but trouble!

Well folks that's all for this evening! Thanks again for checking back! Don't forget tomorrow is Fun Fact Friday!!! A little heads up, I have two birthday parties to go to tomorrow so cooking wont happen. But I'll blog about the food that is served and hopefully it will give me ideas for future meals!

Until tomorrow!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not the most exciting of posts

Sorry everyone but today will be yet another boring post. Due to a large amount of homework and studying for finals next week, my husband has requested that tonight be a leftovers night. (which is fine by me, we have so many chicken bundles left over from last night!) SO while you are reading this sad excuse of a post... I will be enjoying my delicious left over chicken bundles! MMM!!! (its so hard for me to say chicken bundles without mmm behind it!)

On a more fun note, I just got back from the chiropractor (had a nasty case of torticollis three months ago. Not sure what torticollis is? Click here to find out.)  and found out that my whole body is crooked! Yay (insert sarcasm here)!! This would probably be the result of my second bout with this fun (sarcasm again) health condition.

Sooo due to my lack of an exciting meal ( I was going to try that mac n cheese out tonight) I will post a fun cooking tip!

* Microwave a lemon for 15 seconds and double the juice you get
      before squeezing.

who knew! Well thanks for checking back. I promise I will have something a bit more exciting tomorrow! 
Until Tomorrow!  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

MMM Chicken Bundles!!!

Heck yes guys I'm on a roll!! So far I have blogged every day since I set this blog up! Wooo keep up the encouragement it really is helping! Today I cooked one of my favorite recipes of all time! Seriously, if you love chicken and cream cheese, you HAVE to try this one!!! 

The recipe: Chicken Bundles ---- Cookin With the Crazy Lady, by Trish Jenkin (former chef at the Manti House Inn).

6 oz. cream cheese
4 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups cooked cubed chicken
2/3 chopped mushroom
1/2 cup chopped celery

2 pkgs crescent rolls
4 tbsp butter (melted)
seasoned bread crumbs
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk

Cream together cream cheese, butter and pepper. Stir in chicken, mushrooms and celery. Separate crescent rolls into triangles. Roll each one slightly with a rolling bin to make them a little larger. Put a heaping spoonful into the center of each roll and roll them into bundles. Seal any openings. Dip each roll into melted butter and then roll them in bread crumbs. Bake on a cookie sheet at 375ºF for about 20 minutes. Heat soup and milk together and serve as gravy for the bundles.

I keep this one pretty simple. I'm not a huge fan of celery and Bren isn't a huge fan of mushrooms so we leave those out. The thing I love about this recipe is you can do just about anything with it. Sometimes we mix in bacon, sometimes its just the cream cheese, butter and chicken. We've also toyed with the idea of mixing ham in with the chicken and making it a new twist on chicken cordon bleu. Tonight I cooked my chicken in butter (mmmmm butter) and Texas Roadhouse seasoning (you can buy this at any Texas Roadhouse). Really any way you cook the chicken it will be fine. I also put a sprinkle of the Texas Roadhouse seasoning and dried thyme in with the cream cheese mix. 

Over all it was awesome, it was a great revival of a recipe and a perfect time to make it! As posted in my Sunday post, this was a very common meal for Bren and I our first year of marriage. I will more than likely be making this a lot more often then I have recently. Although I will probably cut the recipe in half from here on out. 8 bundles is just more than we can eat... But they do make great leftovers... Hmmm.
Pictures of dinner posted below!

Right out of the oven

The finished product! MMM!!

As always, thanks for checking back!
Until Tomorrow!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday of Madness!!

Today's blog post will be short and sweet!

Today was one of the more fussy days for my sweet little 9 month old Anna. Pair that with grocery shopping and you're set for a FUN evening! Shopping tonight was an adventure (thank goodness I only have to do that once a week!) But I am very excited for the next few nights and the meals I will be preparing! Tonight was left over night (probably wouldn't have survived if it wasn't)! Left over chicken and stir fry made my life a little easier!

Well duty calls and the baby is crying for her Mommy. I'm sorry this blog post wasn't the most exciting of them all but hey at least I have a picture of our shopping adventures today at Walmart!

yes her arm is sticking in between the bars... couldn't get her to stop

Thanks for checking back! I promise tomorrow's post will be much more exciting and actually have something to do with food!
Until Tomorrow!